Peta Cook and Alphia Possamai-Inesedy
This first edition of The Sociology of Health & Illness reflects contemporary attitudes and approaches to the sociology of health and illness in 21st century Australia. With authors who are the current and future thought leaders in this space, this text addresses the theoretical and empirical debates in this discipline, giving students a strong grounding in the field as well as understanding its ever-changing nature.
Aimed at undergraduate and graduate students, and taking a conceptual and topical approach, this product covers topics applicable not only to those undertaking social sciences, but also medicine, nursing and midwifery.
PART 1: Theoretical foundations
1. Health issues as social issues
2. Understanding health research
3. The Australian health care system
PART 2: Health care provision
4. Choosing health care
5. The therapeutic encounter
7. Professions and professional identity
PART 3: Technology
8. Medicalisation and biomedicalisation
9. Digital health
10. Health and medical tourism
PART 4: Social meanings and experiences
11. Indigenous health
12. Mental health
This product includes the following instructor resources:
Peta S. Cook is a sociologist and Senior Lecturer of Sociology at the University of Tasmania, Australia. She lives and works in nipaluna, lutruwita; now known as Hobart, Tasmania, and she acknowledges and pays respect to the palawa people. Peta joined the University of Tasmania in 2009, prior to which she was an Associate Lecturer of Sociology at the Queensland University of Technology (2007-2008). She has extensive experience as a qualitative researcher particularly in arts-based research methods, focus groups, discourse analysis, and semi-structured and unstructured in-depth interviewing.
Peta's contributions to sociological scholarship have focused on addressing pressing social issues related to the lived experiences of ageing and health, the social problems raised by medical sciences and technologies, and the social need for age-friendly and inclusive societies. Her engagement with applied and translational sociology has allowed Peta to work with government and non-government organisations, thus having sociological impacts beyond academia. This is particularly witnessed by Peta's work in age-friendly communities, addressing ageism, and increasing social awareness of the needs and wants of older Australians. Her work in these areas has been recognised through receiving the 2018 University of Tasmania Vice Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Community Engagement, the 2020 Sociology in Action Award from the Australian Sociological Association (TASA), and as a finalist in the 2019 Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards. In addition, Peta has led the creation and development of ageing studies programs within the University of Tasmania as a course and discipline coordinator, as well as making significant contributions to the sociology curriculum. Peta has also contributed considerably to Australian sociology through the Executive of TASA as Thematic Group portfolio leader (2017-2018), Treasurer (2019-2020), and Vice President (2021-2022). Peta's current research examines the importance of age-friendly and inclusive societies; the lived experiences of traumatic brain injury; ableism/disablism in higher education; and social perceptions and lived experiences of ageing and older age.
Alphia Possamai-Inesedy is a Professor of Sociology at Western Sydney University. She lives and works across the lands of the Darug, Eora, Dharawal (also referred to as Tharawal) and Wiradjuri peoples, also known as Western Sydney. She is the Pro Vice Chancellor Engagement and Advancement and President of the Australian Sociological Association (2021-2022). In her capacity as Pro Vice Chancellor of Engagement and Advancement, Alphia is responsible for leading strategic engagement work to shape the University's commitment to co-producing solutions to the interconnected challenges facing society within and outside of the Western Sydney Region. She is the Springer co-editor for the series 'Religion, Spirituality and Health: A Social Scientific approach'. She was the editor in chief of the Journal of Sociology (2013-end of 2016) as well as the co-creator of the Risk Societies Thematic Group within the Australian Sociological Association. Her recent work includes: The Digital Social: Religion and Belief (2019). Alphia is currently involved in ongoing research that focuses on risk society, religion and health, digital sociology and methodologies.
Anna Adcock is a Ngāti Mutunga woman from Aotearoa New Zealand. She has a master’s degree in sociology from Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, where she is currently a researcher and doctoral student in Te Tātai Hauora o Hine National Centre for Women’s Health Research Aotearoa. Anna does Kaupapa Māori (by Māori, for Māori) research, centring the experiences of whānau Māori (Māori family collectives), with the ultimate goal of informing health services to better meet the needs and aspirations of Māori.
Zoe Barker is a PhD candidate at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Zoe’s PhD thesis, 'Prenatal diagnosis and boundary objects: how professionals make sense of genetic tests', examines how professionals in prenatal care in the Illawarra (Australia) account for the technologies they interact with.
Melissa-Jane Belle is a health sociologist and Lecturer at the Centre for Rural Health, University of Tasmania, Australia. She is interested in the credentialism, professionalism and professional identity of nurses and health professions, and how these are experienced and applied within their everyday practice. Melissa’s current project focuses on a sociopolitical analysis of definitions of ‘rural’ within national and jurisdictional workforce policy documents.
Alberto Bellocchi is an Associate Professor of Education at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, Australia. His research is focused on understanding the interactional dynamics of learning and teaching. This work draws on sociological theories and involves exploration of the role of emotions and social bonds as enacted practices in school and university classrooms. He founded and leads the Studies of Emotion and Affect in Education Laboratory at QUT.
Alex Broom is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, at the School of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney. He is recognised as an international leader in sociology, with a specific interest in health. His work takes a person-centred approach, qualitatively exploring the intersections of individual experience and social, political and economic context. His recent books include: Dying: A Social Perspective on the End of Life (2015), Bodies and Suffering: Emotions and Relations of Care (2017 with Ana Dragojlovic) and Survivorship: A Sociology of Cancer in Everyday Life (2021 with Katherine Kenny).
Fran Collyer is Professor of Sociology at the University of Karlstad, Sweden, and has an honorary affiliation with the University of Sydney, Australia. She is a health sociologist of many years standing, and a sociologist of knowledge, with a keen interest in the history of sociology and the social sciences. Her approach aims to investigate historical change in the politics and financing of health, education and research; in the organisation and ordering of social forms across cultures and societies; and in the way the use of language and categories empower or disempower people, groups and communities. Recent books include Knowledge and Global Power (2019, with Connell, Maia and Morrell), Navigating Private and Public Healthcare (2020, with Karen Willis), and the Palgrave Handbook of Social Theory in Health, Illness and Medicine (2015).
Ann Dadich is an Associate Professor of Management at the Western Sydney University School of Business, Australia. Ann is a registered psychologist with expertise in health service management, notably knowledge translation - this encompasses scholarship on the processes through which different knowledges coalesce to promote quality care. This is demonstrated by her publishing record; her grants; and her awards. She holds editorial appointments with international academic journals. She is also the Deputy Director of the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) Consumer and Community Involvement and Knowledge Translation Strategic Platform; she chairs the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Health Management and Organisation (HMO) Conference Stream; and she convenes the ANZAM HMO Special Interest Group. Additionally, she supervises doctoral candidates and teaches change management and innovation.
Rowena Forsyth is a health sociologist and Lecturer in the Cyberpsychology Research Group in the Biomedical Informatics and Digital Health theme, School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research uses qualitative approaches to investigate social and relational aspects of patients’ and health professionals’ use of information resources and digital technologies. Her current research investigates how health professionals accomplish and reproduce social connectedness through participating in online peer communities. She recently examined how Australian medical tourists incorporate information from online and real-world sources in their decision-making.
Benjamin Hanckel is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society and Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University, Australia. Benjamin’s work examines health and wellbeing, social inequalities in health, and social change. His research has explored the role of digital technologies in the lives of young people, and its impact on their wellbeing. This includes examining the experiences of sexuality and gender diverse young people and their experiences with digital wellbeing services and initiatives. He has also worked on projects examining health interventions and the evaluation of these initiatives. He has led research projects across Australia, East and South-East Asia, as well as the United Kingdom, and holds affiliate positions at King's College London (KCL) and the University of Tasmania, Australia.
Ashley Hayward is a PhD candidate in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba and a 2020 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar. Ashley is currently a doctoral trainee on the She Walks with Me urban Indigenous doula project and works as the Research Manager for the Manitoba Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research (NEIHR) housed at The University of Winnipeg. Her research interests include Indigenous maternal health, the social determinants of health, and culture as a health intervention. She is a wife and mother to two daughters, as well as a community-led researcher working in partnership with a range of Indigenous organisations.
Julie Henderson is a retired sociology and health science researcher who previously worked at Flinders University. She now lives in rural South Australia where she writes, plays music and cares for her parents. She has a long standing research interest in mental health and has published extensively in this area. She is also interested in the sociology of food; health policy and delivery of aged care services.
Sophie Hickey is an applied sociologist and postdoctoral health service researcher at the Molly Wardaguga Research Centre, Charles Darwin University, Australia. She currently manages a large longitudinal cohort study of First Nations mothers and children designed to provide feedback to local service providers on best practice maternity care, which has seen a profound reduction in preterm birth for women accessing the new model of care. Sophie works in a diverse multidisciplinary team and uses institutional ethnography, participatory action research and implementation science to improve health services for and with First Nations people.
Katherine Kenny is an ARC DECRA Senior Research Fellow in Sociology and Sociology Policy and Deputy Director of the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies at The University of Sydney. Drawing on social theory and innovative qualitative methods, her work develops new ways of understanding the social structuring of health and illness, and people’s day-to-day experiences of affliction and care. From what we go through when we encounter a life-limiting condition, to the governance of healthcare systems, Katie’s research seeks to develop novel understandings of, and translational implications for, how we can provide better for our individual and collective health, now and into the future. Her recent work includes Survivorship: A Sociology of Cancer in Everyday Life (Routledge, 2021 with Alex Broom)
Sophie Lewis is a health sociologist and ARC DECRA fellow at the School of Health Sciences (Faculty of Medicine and Health), University of Sydney, Australia. Sophie’s research examines intersections of chronicity, incurability and social connectedness across different illness and care contexts. Her recent work includes research on loneliness and chronic illness, and care at the end of life. She is co-author of Experiences of healthcare workers during their COVID-19 pandemic: In their own words (2022, Routledge, with Marie Bismark, Karen Willis, and Natasha Smallwood).
Ben Lyall is a digital sociologist and Research Fellow with the Emerging Technologies Research Lab (Faculty of IT) and the School of Social Sciences (Faculty of Arts) at Monash University, Australia. Ben is interested in how social lives are impacted by digital infrastructures, smart devices, and policies associated with these. His work cuts across sectors of technology, wellbeing, health and safety, employment and social policy.
Nicola J. Marks is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Her background is in Genetics (MA Cambridge, MSc Edinburgh) and in Sociology of Science (PhD Edinburgh). Nicola’s research focuses on the social dimensions of science, technology and medicine. She is finishing off an ARC Discovery grant on the social history of IVF. Recent publications include IVF and Assisted Reproduction: A Global History (Palgrave, 2020) and The Reproductive Industry: Intimate Experiences and Global Processes (Lexington, 2019), both with Sarah Ferber and Vera Mackie.
Kate O’Loughlin is a health sociologist and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Australia, and investigator in the ARC-funded Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research. Kate’s research interests are in population ageing with a focus on mature-age workforce participation, and ageing-related health and care policies. Her current research examines the socio-economic and political context of combining paid work and carer responsibilities, attitudes to ageing and age discrimination, and use of technology for ageing-in-place. Recent books/chapters include Ageing in Australia: Challenges and Opportunities (co-edited with Colette Browning, Hal Kendig), Older Adults and Digital Technologies (with Meryl Lovarini, Lindy Clemson), and Australia's baby boomers as the future older generation (with Helen Barrie, Hal Kendig). Kate is an associate editor of International Journal of Care and Caring and Frontiers in Public Health (Aging).
Rebecca Olson is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Australia. She lives and works on Turrbal and Yuggera land, and pays her respect to their elders, past, present and emerging. Rebecca’s research intersects the sociologies of health and emotion. As a leading innovative qualitative researcher, Olson employs video-based, participatory, reflexive, post-qualitative and post-paradigmatic approaches to inform translational inquiry in healthcare and health professional education. Recent books include Towards a Sociology of Cancer Caregiving: Time to Feel (Routledge, 2016) and Emotions in Late Modernity (Routledge, 2019, co-edited with Patulny, Bellocchi, Khorana, McKenzie and Peterie).
Stephanie Raymond is Centre Manager of the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, and a Research Officer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Sydney, Australia. In this hybrid role, she oversees the strategic and research operations of the SCHS to administer the direction of the Centre. Stephanie has a diverse professional/research background spanning the health sector (dental and oral surgery), public relations, and the social sciences, and has served in both professional and academic roles across several tertiary institutions.
Yvette Roe is a Professor of Indigenous Health and Co-director of the Molly Wardaguga Research Centre, Charles Darwin University, Australia. Yvette is a Njikena Jawuru woman from the West Kimberley region, Western Australia, who grew up in Darwin, Australia. As an Aboriginal scholar, Yvette’s research and priority has been to identify opportunities to improve health outcomes for First Nations peoples by delivering and evaluating services that are client, family and community focused.
Karen Soldatic is a Professor of Sociology at the Institute for Culture and Society, School of Social Sciences, Western Sydney University, Australia. Karen’s research engages with critical questions of disability, intersectionality, inequality and social justice and has published widely in these areas. Karen obtained her PhD (Distinction) from the University of Western Australia.
Leah Williams Veazey is a sociologist and Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Sydney, Australia. Leah’s research interests include migration, care, digital cultures and health. She is the author of Migrant Mothers in the Digital Age: Emotion and Belonging in Migrant Maternal Online Communities (2021, Routledge). Her recent work includes qualitative research with healthcare workers about experiences of infection control during the COVID-19 pandemic; with patients and carers about experiences of precision oncology; and with clinicians about antimicrobial resistance and practices of testing.
Karen Willis is a health sociologist and is Professor of Public Health, Institute of Health and Sport, at Victoria University, Australia. She lives on wauthorang land and works in wurundjeri land, both traditional lands of the kulin nation, and pays her respect to their elders, past, present and emerging. Karen’s research examines the social and political context of healthcare systems, and how seemingly individual health choices are socially and politically shaped. Recent books include Navigating Private and Public Healthcare - Experiences of Patients, Doctors and Policy Makers (edited with Fran Collyer); The COVID-19 Crisis: Social Perspectives (edited with Deborah Lupton) and Experiences of healthcare workers during their COVID-19 pandemic: In their own words (co-authored with Marie Bismark, Sophie Lewis and Natasha Smallwood). Karen is joint editor-in-chief of Health Sociology Review.
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The Sociology of Health & Illness
The Sociology of Health & Illness